Ron Paul's recent tweet on the murder of retired Navy SEAL Chris Kyle sparked outrage from social media users Monday, after the former Texas congressman and three time presidential candidate suggested that Kyle died a violent death because he lived one.
Chris Kyle's death seems to confirm that "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword." Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn't make sense— Ron Paul (@RonPaul) February 4, 2013
Kyle, an ex-Navy SEAL and sniper with a record number of confirmed kills, was killed at a Texas shooting range last weekend by a former Marine he was helping with PTSD. Eddie Ray Routh, 25, now faces capital murder charges for the killing of Kyle and Kyle's neighbor, Chad Littlefield.
Twitter users immediately fired back at Paul:
@ronpaul So all veterans, once done serving our nation with honor, deserve to be murdered as civilians? Wow.— Razor (@hale_razor) February 4, 2013
Paul explained his comment in a Facebook post Monday:
As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend's violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event. My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family. Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies. -REP
Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul, issued this statement to Breitbart News:
Chris Kyle was a hero like all Americans who don the uniform to defend our country. Our prayers are with his family during this tragic time.
Paul, an OB-GYN and former Air Force flight surgeon, was also criticized for his statement about the treatment of PTSD. As The Atlantic Wire points out, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs endorses Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET) as a treatment for PTSD. PET encourages PTSD sufferers to safely expose themselves to situations related to their trauma.